For years I exclusively used the elliptical machine for my cardio exercise. I'd stay on there like a little bunny rabbit, praying down my 40 minutes listening to Kanye West or Eminem or whatever. It wasn't until about three years ago that someone clued me into the fact that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is what really spikes your metabolic burn for up to 48 hours after it's done.
I found out that my body had become fully adapted to that steady state 40 minutes of cardio I had been doing since I was 21 and I was pretty much wasting my time. Great. Anyway, once I started doing HIIT training — both on the elliptical and on the treadmill, the stubborn fat I couldn't lose literally fell off of me.
The best part? You can do it in half the time as steady state. Get in there, bang it out, and go home. It's quick and convenient if you're in a rush, which we always are.
An example of a HIIT routine on the treadmill, or on the elliptical, or on your favorite cardio machine:
1. Do 2 minutes steady state (5.5mph on treadmill)
2. Sprint for 30 seconds (6.5-7mph)
3. Repeat, alternating your steady state and sprinting for 20 minutes
Sprint as though a tiger is chasing you. You will burn WAY more and get out of there in half the time. THAT'S IT.
If you don't have access to a cardio machine, you can do something similar using your own body weight.
Machine-free HIIT routine:
1. Do 20 jump squats, rest 1 minute. Then set a timer: jump for 1 minute, follow by 30 seconds rest and repeat for 10 minutes
2. Do 30 pushups, rest one minute, repeat as many times as you possibly can
3. Do 30 seconds of burpees, rest 1-2 minutes. Then set a timer: do as many burpees as possible for 1 minute, follow by 30 seconds rest and repeat for 10 minutes.
Now get out there and see how easy it is to transform your workout for life!